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Monday, February 14, 2011

Discussion: Vulkan bike list

I recently (or not so recently) got an email in regarding Vulkan biker lists. Let's check out what's been asked...


Do you think a vulkan bike list is viable at 1850? What I was thinking is having three bike squads maxed out with meltas flamers and fists with a bike captain vulkan 6 or so hammer terminators and 6 multi melta attack bikes or some heavy flamer multi melta speedera. What do you think?

Personally 2500 would be preferable so you could fit more terminators and a bike command squad in but oh well...

Please don't post this until we develop the concept more.



At it's going to be hard. I think the best combination of Bikes + Terminators for Vanilla is using Stelek's list as a base. Obvious issues here is cutting it down to 1850 and adding in Vulkan which basically strips the core out of the list and leaves mech saturation not possible. As mentioned at 2500 this is quite easily possible as you've got more points to gain mech saturation as well as Bike saturation. What about Blood Rodeo then? A Vulkan biker list has a very different fundamental operating paradigm compared to Blood Rodeo with a reliance on combat tactics and essentially running circles around the opponent. Blood Rodeo is sort of a 'hammer and anvil' where the hammer jumps over the anvil and is supported by an extra special hammer in the Terminators. Does this really work for Vanilla?

I'd say no. Vulkan is a great option on paper. All of those meltas and flamers become twin-linked (and reliability is good) but he's on foot and cannot deepstrike. You could argue for Terminators as a deep-striking unit even though they scatter full distance (and you're not able to get Gate as both of your HQ slots have been used) but Vulkan + Terminators are going to be an extremely slow unit and quite a lot of points. Is it worth twin-linking all of your melta and flamers? No. If you're looking for a good combat unit a Command squad on bikes is a lot better. In terms of raw inefficiency it's not too flash but it fits perfectly with the Biker theme.

If you really wanted to include Vulkan I think running him in a Drop Pod is your best bet. Him + a Command squad or Tactical squad in a Pod at least gets him onto the table early but basically makes him a sacrificial squad. You could take up to three pods without handicapping your list but this means no speeders and potentially running Dreads or Tacticals which really aren't adding anything to the list when you think of what you've lost by dropping the Speeders or what you still have with the Bikes.

In the end I think Vulkan is hard to shoe-horn into a Biker list that doesn't have the points to spend on Land Raiders to get him and the Terminators across the field. You could try a Fast'N'Slow approach which combines mech and bikes without looking for Terminators (i.e. Preds/Dreads/Speeders/Bikes) and whilst this isn't necessarily a Vulkan biker list I think it's your best bet. Remember at lower point values this type of list is always going to be difficult to work with in list building as you've got 355 points dropped into HQs.

A list like this might look something akin to:

Biker Captain w/SS, Relic Blade
2x Dreadnought
2x 8x Bikes w/2x meltagun, AB w/MM
4x Bikes w/2x meltagun, AB w/MM
5x Tacticals w/LasPlas Razorback, combi-flamer, melta bombs
2x Typhoon
2x Dakka Pred

Once again you've dropped 355 points into HQs as well as spending 180 on a unit for Vulkan to ride around in. This has basically cost you the PFists on the large bike squads but the Dreadnoughts + Vulkan shore up that aspect regardless. You could run more Speeders/Dreads over the Predators and move them more towards MM/HF rather than Typhoons to take full advantage of Vulkan but adding in some range is a nice bonus for a Bike list to have as well.

Again in the end Vulkan works much better at higher point levels where you've got the points to get real rock units, mech saturation and the bikes as evidenced in Stelek's linked list. Otherwise I think running a Hybrid Bike list for Vanilla SM is your best bet as the rock+Vulkan becomes too slow and a point sink in the Biker army.

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